In my mad dash to finish... I have written two chapters quickly! I have some great ideas for the story as it unfolds. I'm glad you are still enjoying this. I promised myself I would finish the first book before May. I'd like to be done before April! So March is going to be Sammy crazy!!! Enjoy peeps!
The ride home on the bus was quiet. Sammy slumped into the cold green bus seat and started thinking about Eddie and all of the things that had been happening lately. He was trying to figure out how he had “finally figured it out!” as Eddie said. He didn’t feel like he had figured anything out. He only felt confused. The experiences were wild and exciting, but he wasn’t sure what they meant or where they were leading. He was starting to believe he might be losing his mind. He wished he wasn’t grounded tonight. He wanted to go to the community center and play hockey. At least there his mind would be occupied by the game. Sammy also wished he had somebody to talk to about what was going on. He knew his mother, with her strong Catholic beliefs, would either slap him or take him directly to Father Brown for counseling. He didn’t want that to happen. All he needed right now was a good distraction. He got what he asked for the minute he walked in the house.
“Heeeey Sammy! The Sultan of Swing! The Samuri! Sammy the Sailor Boy from St. Kitts! How’s my favorite nephew?” It was Uncle Joey. Uncle Joey could put a smile on any kid’s face because he was one of them. He was a happy go lucky kind of uncle who showed up a few times a year either for the Holidays or on business. This time he was on business. “Hey kid, I told my boss in Miami I needed a little bit of time up in the freezing cold to thicken my blood again. What do you think about going to Chestnut Ridge this evening for a little tubing action!!!” Sammy smiled and looked at his mother. She returned his look with a confirming smile. He hugged his uncle and ran straight to his bedroom to get his winter clothing on. Uncle Joey was single and he didn’t have any children. He was a successful traveling salesman and he could sell a ketchup popsickle to a woman in white gloves. He was so much fun to be around. This was just the diversion Sammy needed.
Chestnut Ridge was a winter haven for the people of Buffalo. It was about forty minutes south of the city by car and it had the most amazing sledding hill ever. Families from miles around flocked to this place when the conditions were right. It was a beautiful park anytime of the year, but most people came for the sledding, which was legendary! Charlie Grossman once broke his leg here on a field trip with the community center. It was icy and slippery the day it happened and a couple of kids from a local town had all piled on to the same tube and run Charlie down by accident at the bottom of the hill. The whole scene had erupted into a huge fight. Valley kids were like that sometimes, especially the ones Charlie hung out with. Sammy remembered the ambulance taking him away that afternoon. Charlie was cursing and screaming at the kids from the neighboring town from the inside of the ambulance, while they were bombarding it with snowballs. It was comical to say the least. You had to be careful at Chestnut Ridge, especially at the bottom of the hill. It was like human bowling sometimes with the tubes and sleds knocking kids off of their feet when they were trying to get to the walkway. Oh the walkway! The prospect of flying down the hill at break neck speeds would make you forget about the treacherous walk back up, but as soon as you were half way up the sometimes icy, sometimes muddy lane that was roped off for walking, you would swear that this run was the LAST! Of course it wasn’t, because once you were at the top, looking down that big, smooth hill, temptation took over and propelled you ever downward on a new quest for speed. Life worked like this in many cases. If you gave a body a reward of some sort, it would forget the long pain it had endured for the prospect of the short high.
Uncle Joey spared no expenses. They had stopped at the local sporting goods store and bought the best tubes that were on the market. They also stopped for food and candy and hot chocolate. By the time they got to the park, they were both running on a major sugar high. “Race you to the bottom punk!” Uncle Joey yelled as they ran across the parking lot with massive tubes in tow. Sammy smiled and raced onward to the hill. He never stopped to look back for his uncle and he beat him to the bottom by a country mile. The night went splendidly well and Sammy’s soul was redeemed. Uncle Joey was going to be staying at the house for a few nights while he was in town, so it pretty much guaranteed that Sammy would be doing something with him every night after school. It was just what he needed to keep his mind off of the crazy things that were going on.